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GARRITY SMARTLITE
LED FLASHLIGHT



Garrity SmartLITE LED Flashlight, retail $14-15 (www.garritylites.com...)
Manufactured by Garrity (www.garritylites.com)
Last updated 12-19-09





The Garrity SmartLITE LED Flashlight is a small, handheld flashlight in an all-plastic body. It has one screaming bright white LED in its "business-end", powered by three AAA cells inside the flashlight body. The batteries are included. On the end of the flashlight where the window would normally be found, there is a positive (magnifying) lens, tightening the LED beam up a bit.

One thing that sets this flashlight apart from others isn't that five-mode pushbutton switch, and it isn't that magnifying lens in its window, it's the LED battery charge state monitor, with three LEDs (green, yellow, and red) located just in front of the switch. When the batteries are fresh, the green LED comes on when you turn the flashlight on, and blinks about once every two and a half seconds when the flashlight is off. This functions as a "find me" mode, allowing you to find the flashlight in the dark.


 SIZE



To use the SmartLITE, press and release the rubberised pushbutton switch on the barrel once for 100% intensity, press and release it again for 50% intensity, press and release it again for 25% intensity, press and release it again for slow blink (approximately 0.5Hz), press and release it again for faster blink (approximately 2Hz), and finally, press and release it again to turn the flashlight off.

Just like it reads on the back of the shampoop (or shampee) bottle, "lather, rinse, repeat". In other words, pressing and releasing the button a seventh time turns the SmartLITE on at 100% intensity.

If you wait for more than about two seconds, the SmartLITE turns off with the next press of the button, instead of changing modes.

The SmartLITE has an LED battery charge state indicator. This is relatively unique in the world of flashlights. If the green LED comes on when you turn the flashlight on, the batteries are good. If the yellow LED comes on, the batteries are low, and you need to think about changing them. And if the red LED comes on, the batteries are dead (according to Garrity), and should be replaced at once.


Here's a photograph showing the green LED on the battery state indicator illuminated, indicating the batteries in the SmartLITE are in good shape.

To test this feature, I installed known-weak cells in the flashlight. The red LED came on for about 0.5 second when the flashlight was first turned on, then it switched over to the green LED. I then measured the intensity, and found no difference between the weak cells and the new ones. That tells me that there is a regulator circuit working, in addition to the battery charge state indicator. The green LED blinks in "find me" mode, and comes on right away when the flashlight is subsequently used.



To change the batteries in the SmartLITE, unscrew the bezel (head) approximately 1/4 of a turn, and lift it straight off. Set it aside.

Squeeze in on the two black plastic tits on the top of the battery carriage (which also contains the rest of the flashlight), while simultaneously pulling it straight out of the flashlight body. If necessary, remove and dispose of, recycle, or recharge (for rechargeable cells only!) the used AAA cells from the battery carriage.

Insert three new AAA cells into the carriage, following the polarity indicators both printed on stickers by each chamber and embossed in the bottom of each chamber. Do not follow the traditional "negative to spring" rule of thumb, as it will not work here.

Once all three new cells are in, insert the black carriage into the flashlight body, being sure to orient it so the switch and three battery charge status indicator LEDs are facing the side of the barrel with the three windows and the pushbutton. Push in gently, straight down until it clicks into place.

Place the bezel back over the opening, rotating it clockwise or counterclockwise until it goes all the way on, and then turn it approximately 1/4 of a turn clockwise until it stops.

Due to the way the flashlight is constructed, I was not able to measure current usage.




Photograph of the "business-end", showing the LED, reflector, and magnifying lens.

The SmartLITE is at least reasonably durable. It withstood my whack test of ten whacks against a 30" steel rod (five near the tail, and five more near the bezel), and was not damaged that I could see, and did not malfunction either.

The SmartLITE is weather- and splash-resistant, but it is not waterproof or submersible. So please try not to drop it in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docksides, puddles of seal pee, slush piles, mud puddles, tubs, toilet bowls, cisterns, sinks, fishtanks, dog water dishes, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. A little rain or snow probably wouldn't hurt it though, so you need not be too concerned about using it in moderately bad weather.

If it fell in water and you suspect it got flooded, disassemble it as you would for a battery change, dump out the water if necessary, and set the parts in a warm dry place for a day or so just to be sure it's completely dry inside before you reassemble and use it again.

If it fell into seawater or if somebody or something peed on it, douche all the parts out with fresh water before setting them out to dry. You don't want your SmartLITE to smell like seashells or piss when you go to use it next. Besides, salt (from seawater or pee) can't be very good for the circuitry or the metal contacts inside.

The SmartLITE has a hanger hook built in. This hook is open-ended though, so it might not be that good of an idea to carry it on a lanyard affixed to this hook. But you can hang it on a stationary object from a lanyard if you wish.

I already described the various modes available from the single switch and how to access them, so we don't need to go there again.

Dimming modes appear to use a method called PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), in which the LED is supplied with full current pulses and periods of no current between pulses.



Beam photograph at ~12".
This flashlight has three steady-on output levels, labelled as 100%, 50%, and 25%.

Measures 32,500mcd at 100%.
Measures 15.200mcd at 50%.
Measures 7,170mcd at 25%.

All measurements were taken on a Meterman LM631 light meter.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this flashlight; newer spectrometer software & settings used.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the yellow-green "batteries in good shape" LED in this flashlight.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the red "batteries discharged" LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.






TEST NOTES:
Sample of this and three other flashlights were sent by a website fan, and were received on 09-23-04.


UPDATE: 09-24-04
Test unit was purchased at a Wall-Mart in the eastern United States, and cost $14 to $15.


PROS:
Decent brightness for a one-banger
Multiple brightness settings & modes
LED battery level indicator
Uses batteries that are common and relatively inexpensive.


CONS:
Not waterproof - splash-resistant at best
All-plastic construction may cause this flashlight to be more delicate than others


    MANUFACTURER: Garrity
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Narrow flood; bluish central spot with a ringy corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off/mode change on barrel
    BEZEL: Plastic; LED and reflector protected by plastic window with lens built-in
    BATTERY: 3xAAA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Splash-resistant at minimum
    SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
    ACCESSORIES: 3xAAA cells
    WARRANTY: Lifetime

    PRODUCT RATING:

    Star Rating





Garrity SmartLITE LED Flashlight * www.garritylites.com...







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